Energy companies have finally taken positive steps to provide a better service for customers using the pre-payment meter system.
Consumer Focus published its ‘Making Progress’ report today, which shows all suppliers have provided support for its customers like extending the ‘friendly non-disconnect’ periods.
This means customers won’t be cut-off if they run out of credit at night, during the weekends or during Christmas and New Year bank holidays.
The news follows the consumer group’s call on power companies two years ago to transform the experience of the 8.8million people who rely on pre-pay meters. A study conducted then showed around one in six pre-pay households, or up to 1.4million people, were living in homes that cut off their own energy supply to make ends meet. Almost half of these households included someone with a disability or illness and two in five were homes to children under the age of 16.
Dhara Vyas, Energy Expert at Consumer Focus welcomed the news: “With so many vulnerable families and older people paying by pre-payment meter, it is good to see energy firms taking positive action to ensure the health and wellbeing of vulnerable pre-payment meter consumers.
“It is essential that energy firms provide good service and go the extra mile for these customers. We hope suppliers will learn from each other’s best practice, and continue making changes to provide the best possible experience for pre-payment customers.”
The consumer group has five key principles which suppliers must meet to provide a good level of service to pre-payment meter customers.